When the cat jumps out of the bag

I may be mixing phrases there, in fact I almost certainly am, but I just randomly came across an amusing little Digg rift that seems to be breaking out.

Initially I came across this post through tech.memeorandum from a digg user complaining because he got banned from Digg for posting the following numbers:
09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

What are these numbers? It's the processing key that will allow Linux users to play HD-DVD's.

What's the big deal? Well some people don't want it out there (a bit late now), but this Digg user was stunned to see his account disappear. I quote:

So I'm reading the comments, and every once in a while I'd refresh the page a few times to see how high the digg count would climb. And then it happened. First, the comments all disappeared, and then the story itself disappeared. And then, my digg account disappeared. My account is no longer valid.

So he did what any normal self respecting person might do. He posted it up on his own blog and asked people to digg his new article. Reading through the comments on his post reveals a tonne of users getting banned as well and having their IP blocked. It seems like there were a lot of unhappy people.

My own digging revealed…

1. Blog Post from Digg stating

This has all come up in the past 24 hours, mostly connected to the HD-DVD hack that has been circulating online, having been posted to Digg as well as numerous other popular news and information websites. We’ve been notified by the owners of this intellectual property that they believe the posting of the encryption key infringes their intellectual property rights. In order to respect these rights and to comply with the law, we have removed postings of the key that have been brought to our attention.

2. The amount of times this number appears in google searches

9420

3.  A man who wonders about the decimal (or colour version) of this number:

So can I be banned for posting it in decimal form?
009 249 017 002 157 116 227 091 216 065 086 197 099 086 136 192
What if I convert it into color codes and post a link to a picture of it?

4. A Reddit user who received a DMCA complaint

I received a DMCA Complaint Notice from Google for having the HD-DVD Processing Key (09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0) saved publicly in my Google Notebook. Can you copyright hexadecimal?

5. And finally, my favourite of all, someone who turned it into a catchy song. Ahh,

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Comments

  • ah that explains why all the digg posts i read today had the string of hex interposed all over them, then.i think the reason these ridiculous DRM schemes are so easily cracked is because all the competent cryptographers realise DRM is doomed and refuse to work on them..so the media companies are forced to go with the drop-outs and also-rans…

  • late-breaking news, digg capitulated: http://blog.digg.com/?p=74between 1pm and 9pm they obviously figured out that their website was going to be completely useless until they either a) shut it down, or b) got the commenters to shut up and get back to work. not much of a choice, especially because option (b) lets them come out on the side of all that's Right and Good. i guess the downside of user-created content is that if your users turn out to be douchebags, your content can easily be overcome with… douchebaggery.

  • Thanks for the update. It was quite amusing to watch this all develop. It has a bit of a feeling of them realising a little too late that they could have impressed their user base by saying fuck that to the DMCA complaint. Possibly the realisation dawned on them that they would have to delete most of the comments and lots of the posts from there on in to continue hiding this number.